The Produce Marketing Association Foundation for Industry Talent held its second Emerging Leaders Program March 25-28.
The four-day session, held at the Thunderbird School of Global Management, Glendale, Ariz., provided networking and educational opportunities.
This session will be followed with an online training program that will end with an October 26 graduation ceremony at PMA’s Fresh Summit.
An initial online program began the program in February.
“The PMA Foundation for Industry Talent is thrilled with the positive feedback from both participants and the companies who sponsored their attendance,” Margi Prueitt, executive director for the PMA Foundation for Industry Talent, said in an e-mail.
Participants represent various industry areas, including foodservice, floral and retail, and are chosen based on their professional experience, age, leadership qualities, industry background and work performance, according to a news release.
This year’s class has 36 participants:
- Zac Benedict, California Avocado Commission, Irvine, Calif.;
- Christina Calcagno, Taylor Farms Inc., Salinas, Calif.;
- Gonzalo Canessa, Hortifrut Chile, Ventura, Calif.;
- Greg Cassel, Monsanto Co., Folsom, Calif.;
- Nick Chappell, California Giant Inc., Watsonville, Calif.;
- James Clinard, Wish Farms, Plant City, Fla.;
- Jose Covarrubias, Wholesum Harvest, Nogales, Ariz.;
- Kelly Craner, B&C Fresh Sales, Costa Mesa, Calif.;
- Jason Fonfara, Domex Superfresh Growers, Yakima, Wash.;
- Lance Freeman, Sunkist Growers Inc., Sherman Oaks, Calif.,
- Javier Gonzalez, Del Campo Supreme Inc., Nogales;
- Jeremy Hantke, Wegmans Food Markets Inc., Rochester, N.Y.;
- David Hartman, FreshPoint Inc., Tampa, Fla.;
- Matias Holzapfel, Cencosud Retail SA, Santiago, Chile;
- Antonio Illiano,The Oppenheimer Group, Newark, Del.;
- Brett Johnson, IFCO Systems, Brentwood, Calif.;
- Phil Kooy, Wm. Bolthouse Farms Inc., Wheatley, Ontario;
- Laura Kornegay, Nash Produce LLC, Nashville, N.C.;
- Scott Leimkuhler, Progressive Produce Corp., Commerce, Calif.;
- Julio Lopez, Wholesum Harvest, Nogales;
- Gerardo Lopez Gomez, Growers Union LLC, Leon, Guanajuato, Mexico;
- Leigh Morgenthaler, Wal-Mart Stores Inc., Bentonville, Ark.;
- Patrick Morris, Rouses Supermarket LLC, Thibodaux, La.;
- S. Garrett Patricio, Westside Produce, Firebaugh, Calif.;
- Melissa Pine, Wm. Bolthouse Farms Inc., Bakersfield, Calif.;
- James Pitreau, Green Thumb Farms, Fryeburg, Maine;
- Richard Ramos, Markon Cooperative Inc., Salinas;
- Aaron Riveras, The Kroger Co., Cincinnati;
- Samir Ruggiero, Grupo Pao de Acucar/CBD, Sao Paulo, Brazil;
- Dominic Russo, Rocky Produce Inc., Detroit;
- Ramiro Soffia, Hortifrut Chile, Huechuraba, Santiago, Chile;
- Kellen Stailey, Sunshine Bouquet Co., Dayton, N.J.;
- Kyle Stone, Ben B. Schwartz & Sons Inc., Detroit;
- Bela Suich, C. H. Robinson Company Worldwide, Paulsboro, N.J.;
- George Szczepanski, Produce Marketing Association, Newark; and
- Lee Woodham, FreshPoint, Inc., Morrisville, N.C.